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Q. Please give us the last and final word on this issue: should we or should we not give change to beggars
Answer: Whilst some beggars may be genuinely in need of assistance, many street corner beggars are not really deserving recipients of charity. If they are able to stand on the street for such long periods, they can also do some work to earn an honest living. Also, there are organizations that help these people financially if they are found to be deserving recipients.
If a street beggar approaches you, you may give him/her some small change as Sadaqah or Lillah without giving too much to encourage further begging. Use your discretion. If you feel that the beggar is genuinely in need, you may give him/her. If you feel otherwise, you are not obligated to give the beggar and you should politely excuse yourself. You should not rebuke or scold the beggar as the Qur’an prohibits this.
You should not give any Zakaat to street beggars as the rules pertaining to Zakaat being discharged are more stringent compared to Sadaqah and Lillah.